Energy Projects in Nigeria

From energypedia

This article is written by Charlotte Remteng, Muhammad Bello Suleiman, Chiamaka Maureen Asoegwu and Chysom Nnaemeka Emenyonu as part of the requirements for the Open Africa Power Fellowship Programme 2021. It is a sub-section of the publication, Country Project Nigeria.

Nigeria Energy Situation

Existing major Energy Projects

Large Energy Projects

I) Hydro Project: Mambilla Hydropower Project

Mambilla hydropower project is a 3.05GW hydroelectric facility currently being developed on the Dongo River near Baruf, in Kakara Village of Taraba State, Nigeria. The project is being undertaken by Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Power, Construction, and Housing, with the help of Chinese investments. Expected to commence operation in 2030, Mambilla will be Nigeria's biggest power plant, producing approximately 4.7 billion kWh of electricity a year.

The project is estimated to cost $5.8bn and will generate up to 50,000 local jobs during the construction phase.

Mambilla hydroelectric facility comprises four dams and two underground powerhouses having 12 turbine generator units in total. The four dams to be constructed on the Dongo River for the Mambilla hydropower project include Nya (formerly known as Gembu), Sumsum, Nghu, and Api Weir dams.

The power generated by the Mambilla hydroelectric facility will be transmitted to the national grid by four 500kV DC transmission lines connecting Makrudi, and one 330kV DC transmission line connecting Jalingo. (Culled from

II) Renewables: 1mw Interconnected Mini-Grid

Determined to improve on the power supply, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, introduced an interconnected mini-grid project that will guarantee consumers a 24-hour electricity supply.

To this end, a tripartite agreement was signed between the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, Green Village Electricity, GVE, and the Wuse Market (An important central economic hub in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja) Association for the development of 1MW interconnected mini-grid at Wuse market.

GVE is for-profit energy access mini-utility social enterprise that uses prepaid metering technology and credit analytics platforms to deploy PV solar solutions to rural / Peri-Urban communities, small and medium enterprises, and residential homes across west Africa.

The interconnected mini-grid is a power system that receives electricity from both the national grid and an off-grid source for onward power supply to users. By far the first project of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, the power project is aimed at providing clean, safe reliable, and affordable electricity to Small and Medium Scale Enterprise, SMEs under the Energizing Economies Initiative.

The interconnected mini-grid will be deployed through 3 independent hybrid PV solar systems of 450kWp, 350kWp & 200kWp to serve 3 distinct segments of the Wuse market.

The initiative has provided support to the delivery of energy to power users by augmenting grid supply, as well as reduce the Electricity Distribution Company (disco) losses in clustered underserved areas. The project will guarantee the supply of uninterrupted power to over 2,000 Small and Medium Scales enterprises and boost economic growth. (Culled from Vanguard Newspaper, 2019).

III Nuclear Energy

In recognition of the need to improve the national electricity supply in the country, and explore the potential of nuclear energy, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) established Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) as the focal promotional institution to provide the technical leadership to achieve this national objective. NAEC developed a technical framework that would serve as the road map for achieving the set goals for nuclear energy in Nigeria. Furthermore, an initial Strategic Plan for the Implementation of the National Nuclear Power Programme in Nigeria was approved in December 2009. Since then, several refinements have been made to the implementation strategy, taking into consideration many technical factors including technology, financing, ownership, and contractual issues, with a more realistic timeline that will result in the commercial operation of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) with the injection of at least 1,200 MWe to the national grid by 2025, and increasing the capacity to up to four NPPs of 4,800 MW by 2035.

Rural Electrification Projects

The sole mission of the Nigeria Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is to provide access to reliable electric power supply for rural dwellers irrespective of where they live and what they do, in a way that would allow for a reasonable return on investment through appropriate tariff that is economically responsive and supportive of the average rural customer. To achieve this, the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) was established by the section 88 sub-section II of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 to provide support for the development of the on and off-grid sectors for the power/energy sector to thrive, by:

  1. Achieving more equitable regional access to electricity
  2. Maximizing the economic, social, and environmental benefits of rural electrification subsidies
  3. Promoting the expansion of the grid and the development of off-grid electrification
  4. Stimulating innovative approaches to rural electrification provided that no part of the REF shall be used as subsidies for consumption.

Plans to provide necessary infrastructure and electricity to rural areas can be traced back to the 1980s with the introduction of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Programme. The aim of initiating this program by the Federal Government was to expand electricity access rapidly in rural areas and to ensure that energy services are available and affordable in a cost-effective manner. However, this goal is still far from being reached. The Current (2015) estimate shows that only about 26% of rural households have access to electricity. Growth in demand for electricity in the rural areas of Nigeria has outpaced supply and population growth has driven the rate of new household formation higher than the rate of new connections (Sustainable Energy For All Action Agenda). As a result, rural households still rely on fuel-wood and other expensive, unhealthy, and unsustainable sources of energy (Draft Rural Electricity Strategy and Implementation Plan 2015). Reaffirming its commitment to reaching the proposed 75% electricity access by 2020, and 100% by 2040, the Federal Government of Nigeria in the draft RESIP 2015 estimated that a service extension to additional 471,000 rural households each year will be required from 2015 to 2020; and an annual additional 513,000 rural household connections from 2020 to 2040. The cost of reaching these targets is estimated between NGN 317.8 billion and NGN 525.8 billion (a minimum of NGN 50billion per annum). These figures include administration and project costs respectively. It is therefore clear that the required funding and investment will come from a combination of sources including the FGN, other Nigerian Government entities (e.g., State and Local Governments, relevant Ministries), electricity companies and customers, international donors and development banks, commercial banks (both domestic and foreign), RE scheme operators and customers (i.e., end-users), and equity investors. In taking the drive forward, the Federal Ministry of Power on behalf of the Government has re-designed the Operation Light-Up Rural Nigeria initiative from the conventional Micro-grid with no payment system to an off-grid Micro Utility with the full functionality of pre-payment and power management systems integrated to collect revenue from the project and manage load demand, thus creating the Renewable Energy Micro- Utility (REMU). REMU is designed to be a Sustainable Platform for Integrated Economic Empowerment (SPIE) through the development of renewable energy resources in Nigeria in an economically attractive manner. It is estimated that each project under the REMU initiative will cost between USD ($) 3.5 million and USD ($) 6 million, for a fully integrated functional REMU of capacity range of 500 kW – 1000 kW, funding options currently explore include Green Bonds and other forms of private partnership financing.

In 2020, REA completed 7 mini-grids and deployed over 6,000 Standalone Solar Home Systems to off-grid communities across the nation under the Rural Electrification Fund (REF). 3 mini-grids and 2 grid extension projects were also delivered using the Federal Government’s Capital Appropriation. 3 others were delivered through the Performance-Based Grant of the World-Bank and AfDB-funded Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP) and one project was delivered under the Energizing Education Programme (EEP)

The Nigeria Electrification Programme is fully aligned with the Rural Electrification Strategy and Implementation Plan and also supports the Power Sector Recovery Plan (2017-2021) objectives to increase private investment into the energy sector, including implementation of rural energy access and off-grid/mini-grid energy services.

Some of the programs currently being implemented are:

  1. Solar hybrid mini-grids. The NEP solar hybrid mini-grids component aims to accelerate private-sector delivery of mini-grids in off-grid communities.
  • Mini-grid: generation and distribution system capable of serving at least 2 end‐users, independently from the national grid.
  • Technical focus – Solar PV generation with battery and diesel backup.
  • Prepaid metering to mitigate revenue and collection losses and support project bankability

The objectives of this component are to:

● Accelerate private sector delivery of mini-grids in off-grid communities

● Develop mini-grids on a build-own-operate model and catalyze mini-grid deployment at scale to kick-start the market

● To electrify unserved and underserved areas with high economic growth potential

● To energize households, local enterprises, and public institutions within the mini-grid sites.

● The target is to electrify 105,000 households and 20,000 MSMEs through a USD 70,000,000 funding mechanism from the African Development Bank

B. Minimum Subsidy Tender for Solar Hybrid Mini-Grid. The NEP solar hybrid mini-grid component aims to support the development of private sector mini-grids in unserved areas across Nigeria. The component targets to electrify 300,000 households and 30,000 local enterprises.

The objectives of this component are to:

● Provide clean, safe, and affordable electricity to communities that are currently not connected to the national electricity grid.

● Increase business productivity by replacing generators, lanterns, and candles with reliable electricity.


● Minimum Subsidy Tender (MST); aims to electrify pre-selected communities that have high economic growth potential through a competitive tender. The communities to be electrified under the MST are identified, verified, and sensitized by the REA/NEP.

● Performance-based Grant Program (PBG); aims for the development of mini-grids on a rolling basis. The communities are identified, verified, and sensitized by mini-grid developers and they may also use this window to support the development of pre-planned projects in their portfolios. Eligible projects are solar and solar hybrid systems in unserved areas, with a generation capacity of not more than 1MW.

The total funding available for the component is US$150million

C. Standalone Solar Home Systems for Households and MSMEs. The objective of the Standalone Solar Home Systems for Households and MSMEs component is to help millions of unserved and underserved Nigerian households and Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) access better energy services at an affordable cost, via stand-alone solar systems through the private sector companies. This in turn will significantly scale up the market for SHS in Nigeria.

D. Energizing Education Programme II, Energizing Education Programme III: Access to a constant power supply in educational institutions and healthcare facilities in Nigeria has been identified as a major challenge and barrier to effective learning, institutional operations, student residency, and access to quality healthcare

Considering the role of arguably the most important sectors in driving socio-economic development in Nigeria, being Education and Health, the Federal Ministry of Power through the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), resolved to embark on viable projects that will ensure the availability of clean, reliable, sustainable and affordable power to Nigeria’s Federal Universities and University Teaching Hospitals.

Given the foregoing, the 'Energizing Education Programme' (the "EEP"), was approved by His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2016, with the overall objective to provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable power to 37 Federal Universities and 7 Teaching Hospitals through renewable energy solutions.

The EEP Phase II will see to the implementation of this Federal Government of Nigeria’s (FGN’s) objective in 7 Federal Universities and 2 University Teaching Hospitals, across the 6 Geopolitical Zones in Nigeria. The phase II institutions are:

Table 10: Federal Universities and Teaching Hospitals under EEP Phase II

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Ogun South-West
Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Abia South- East
University of Calabar & Teaching Hospital Cross River South-South
University of Maiduguri & Teaching Hospital Borno North-East
University of Abuja F.C.T North Central
Federal University Gashua Yobe North-East
Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna North-West

Funding breakdown of the EEP Phase II: USD105 million has been earmarked for the implementation and this covers the EPC for the power plant, streetlights, rehabilitation of existing distribution network, one-year operations, and maintenance, and the training center components.

The EEP Phase III is a Federal Government of Nigeria initiative tasked with developing off-grid, dedicated and independent power plants, as well as rehabilitating existing distribution infrastructure, to supply clean and reliable power to 37 federal universities and 7 affiliated university teaching hospitals. In addition, it will provide street lighting for illumination and safety, as well as a world-class renewables .training center at each of the EEP beneficiary institutions

Phase III is being funded by the African Development Bank (AFDB) in respect of 8 universities. The universities under this Phase will utilize technologies based on solar (11 MW) technology and/or gas (8.5MW) power systems.

The objectives of this component are to:

● Provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable power to Federal universities.

● Develop and operate training centers for training of students in renewable energy technology

● Install streetlights to improve security within the beneficiary universities.

Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Contracts; this will involve contracts with competitively selected EPC contractors to build, operate and maintain the power plants at each site and also build and equip the training center. The total funding available for the component is US$100million

Case Example of the Provision of Modern Energy Access

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace, and justice.

To select a case example of modern energy access, we considered an organization and program that has made an impact in not just clean and modern energy access but has also gone ahead to create impact in other sustainable developmental goals.


One of the biggest challenges we face in Nigeria is the intermittency of power, the unreliable national grid, and the energy deficit across the value chain. Nigerians have long used diesel generators and have gotten comfortable with them. Energy intends to solve this by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy solutions. With the belief that success will be based on prioritizing consumer education and providing resources that enable a seamless conversion that will help in creating brand awareness and product adoption.

Energy is a distributed utility company that offers commoditized solar + lithium storage solutions in Africa. With a vision is to provide sustainable solutions to energy reliability issues across emerging markets. Energy deploys solutions to these challenges in fully customized modular variants such as Arnergy 5000X, Energy 5000, and Energy 10000. The company designs manufacture and commoditizes technology-enabled solar micro-grid and rooftop solutions providing affordable and energy reliability for SMEs and communities.

Energy complies with notable international Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards to ensure to leave a positive impact on people and the environment. Their internal practices have been aligned with such standards as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Their commitments include safely executing projects to protect employees' well-being and the surrounding working environment.

ESG commitments made by ARNERGY also drive them to ensure business produces a larger development impact in society and record several applicable developmental impact indicators to help them track their impacts and for stakeholder feedback. According to its 2020 Impact report, the impact of Energy can be grouped into the following headings:

  1. Energy and the SDGs.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent achievable targets that Arnergy is proud to participate in. Our business activities and operations contribute to the following goals:

● SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being): Arnergy has contributed directly to the readiness of public health agencies to respond to COVID-19 and other health emergencies

● SDG 4 (Quality Education): Arnergy provides an opportunity for an internship program for students and young graduates to learn valuable skills in renewable energy engineering and other aspects of the economy

● SDG 5 (Gender Equality): In Arnergy, more women are provided with opportunities to lead teams in the company and achieve gender balance in management while closing the gap in other roles

● SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy): Arnergy products provide affordable and clean energy to a wide range of customers

● SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth): Providing a decent work environment for employees and third parties. This has shown in their resilience during the covid-19 pandemic - ensured that employment opportunities were maintained for many despite the general downturn.

● SDG 13 (Climate Action): All Arnergy renewable energy products utilize solar energy for power thus reducing the contribution of GHGs into the atmosphere which is a major contributor to climate change. Arnergy’s solar-powered solution provides clean, renewable energy for businesses and households and presents a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. This is very important in combating the climate change issues currently face in many parts of the world including Africa. Every kilowatt of power generated through their solar solutions represents the power that would have otherwise been generated by burning fossil fuels that release CO2 and other greenhouse gases (gases that warm the atmosphere). At Arnergy, this data is collected to help track efforts towards reducing global warming in line with international climate change agreements like the Paris Agreement

● SDG 9 (Industry Innovation and Infrastructure): Arnergy products are being adopted in urban and rural areas to support industry and critical infrastructure.

● SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals): Arnergy participates in and leads several stakeholder partnerships to improve environmental benefits and reduce environmental pollution in line with the SDGs.

  1. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Avoided

Arnergy systems generate electricity with photovoltaic cells from solar energy which is abundant, clean, and does not release pollutants into the atmosphere unlike other sources of electricity. At the core of our business is reducing greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere while providing energy to households and businesses. Tracking GHGs avoided through the use of their systems is important for assessing contributions to several global sustainability goals like the UN SDGs, Paris Agreement, etc. According to Arnergy 2020 Impact Report for the period (July 2020 – December 2020), 441,100 kilograms of CO2 equivalents were avoided through their systems. The impact of GHG saved through reporting period is equivalent to:

- 95.2 cars off the road for one year

- The electricity used by 75 homes one year

- 187775.35 liters of petrol (gasoline) burned for running automobiles

- Carbon sequestered by 3 acres of coniferous forest for 1 year

- Carbon sequestered by 7289 tree seedlings grown for 10 years

  1. Energy Generation Capacity

Arnergy systems can combine solar energy, battery storage, and grid energy to provide electrical energy for our customer use. This capacity is reflected in the overall generation capacity of the boxes in kilowatt. This capacity has gradually increased over the reporting period with significant growth recorded in December 2020. A total of 1230kW of our energy solutions was deployed in the reporting period.

  1. Energy Storage Capacity

Energy storage is a key element of Arnergy systems as it stores primarily renewable energy generated for use at night and/or at periods where poor atmospheric conditions may reduce energy generation through the photovoltaic panels. Arnergy batteries are Lithium polymer types that store a high amount of energy with a shorter recharge period compared to the lead-acid alternatives in the market which have a shorter lifespan and reliability. Their custom configuration options mean that they can deploy a varying number of batteries for each installation

  1. Waste Batteries Recycled

Hazardous elements of renewable energy deployment are taken into consideration. With the institution of responsible e-waste recycling by joining the e-Waste Producers Responsibility Organization of Nigeria (EPRON) to follow best practices in e-waste recycling and to comply with environmental safeguard regulations. The first step was the recycling of lead-acid batteries from our legacy systems through vendors verified by the Federal Ministry of Environment and members of the Alliance for Responsible Battery Recycling (ARBA) Producer Responsibility Organization. About 1988kg of legacy lead-acid batteries has been recycled through the reporting period (July 2020 – December 2020),.

  1. Gender Balance

An important indicator at Arnergy is gender balance among employees, especially among full-time employees. Providing opportunities for women in the workforce is an important target for the company which aligns with the UN SDG Goal 5 among several ESG performance standards and has better outcomes for our economy.

  1. REA’s Energizing Economies Initiative

The Energizing Economies Initiative (EEI) is a Nigerian government initiative being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency. EEI focuses on providing access to electricity for unserved and underserved economic clusters across the country. Four pilot mini-grid projects serving clusters of economic activity have been implemented to date, Ariaria Market in Abia State, Sabon Gari Market in Kano State, and Somolu Printing Community and Sura Shopping Complex, both in Lagos State. REA is seeking to launch 300+ off-grid projects across the country by 2022, in a phased approach, with the first phase covering 13 different markets in 6 states (Rural Electrification Agency,)

The model being adopted in the energizing economies (markets) initiative by REA shows a more positive approach which demonstrates the commercial viability of these sites/projects. This is made possible as the uptake from these markets is 100% productive load capacity. REA is currently in the execution of the first phase of the project to electrify over 13 economic clusters. Overall, EEI is expected to provide clean and reliable power supply to about 80,000 shops, empower more than 200,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), create over 2,500 jobs and serve more than 7 million people (REA, EEI)